Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Truck Troubles

What do you get when you put unleaded gasoline into a diesel engine?

Apparently a dead truck, as we discovered last night. At around 7:00 Jake and I were outside. I was picking things up in the yard and he was getting the mower ready so he could mow when his sister called. She was at the gas station and had pulled up to the pump to put diesel in the truck and had mistakenly put in Unleaded instead.

In her defense, the diesel was on the side of the store and there were three pumps that had diesel and only one that had unleaded. She called Keith and neither of them assumed they would put unleaded over on the side so they thought it must be unleaded diesel. We now know that there is no such thing as unleaded diesel. However, the pump handles were not marked differently as so many are in Iowa, (Green for diesel) so I could probably see myself making the same mistake. My mother said there is another gas station like that over by Prairie Meadows and three or four people that she knows have done the same thing this year.

So, back to the story... we gathered as many gas cans as we could and a siphon hose and set out for the gas station convinced that we could suction the gas out of the truck, fill it with diesel, and she would be on her way. HaHaHa!! Aren't we funny?

When we got there Jake stuck the siphon hose into the gas tank and proceeded to try to get it to suck the gas out. Here is a picture of his sophisticated suction apparatus. It consisted of a piece of a garden hose, and some clear tubing. Oh yes, and let's not forget the ever important duct tape that held it together. That stuff will work for anything won't it?

At first he tried to blow into the hose but since the gas tank was so full all he successfully did was create Old Faithful. While that did get some gas out of the tank, it wasn't exactly the result we were hoping for. So, he decided he would have to suck on the end of the hose. I can see you now, reading this and thinking we know what happens next. Yup, you are right. Gas... right in the mouth. It wasn't much, but I don't think it would take much to make a person sick.

Needless to say, the siphoning started and Jake headed into the gas station to attempt not to toss his cookies. He came out about 10 minutes later looking a little green, but told us he did not throw up. It continued this way for over an hour. I think he ended up inhaling gas or fumes 5 or 6 times during the whole experience.

After about an hour we had 15 gallons of gas siphoned out and Jake realized that he needed a special wrench to take off the fuel filter and get the rest of the gas out. So, I headed off to my parents house after wrenches. Luckily my dad was home because I would have had NO idea what I was looking for. He sent a filter wrench, and adjustable wrench and a pair of vice grips. Pop quiz... identify which is which in the picture!!

Anyhow, when I returned they had most of the gas siphoned out and Jake set to work removing the fuel filter. Sometime in all of this madness Molly realized that we probably weren't going to get the truck started again and she called the car dealership to get a tow truck sent. Jake did get the filter off and put some diesel in the truck, but we were never able to get it started.

Finally about 8:30 Molly got a call back that the tow truck was on its way. We decided that we couldn't waste the hard earned gas so we put 5 gallons into my jeep. If we had known earlier that it wouldn't hurt the engine we wouldn't have dumped the 10 gallons that we did!

If you are wondering why Jake is not wearing a shirt, it was SOAKED!! As you can see his pants are also soaked but we didn't think it would be very appropriate for him to be prancing around the parking lot in his tighty whities, so he left the pants on. After all of that sweating Jake was extremely dehydrated and sick to his stomach from the gas fumes. He was up most of last night and decided to stay home from work today to recover.

After talking to a friend today we have also discovered that apparently the new diesel trucks have something called a governor fuel cut off that kills the truck if it detects the wrong type of fuel and can only be reset by a mechanic. So, even if we would have gotten all the gas out, we would not have been able to get the truck started. Note to self, call friend next time have car trouble, save self MUCH time and husband much hurt!!


kreints said...

OH MY GOD... I think I would have crawled into a hole and died if I were Molly! Meaning I can SO see myself doing that! AHHH!